Microsoft Office 365, Synnex and Lenovo News from Varnex
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Office U.S. Commercial Business Director Julie Sanford pitched Microsoft 365 to a room full of value-added resellers (VARs) and vendors at Synnex 2013 Spring Varnex Conference in Orlando, Fla. earlier this week, but also added some key takeaways for managed services providers (MSPs). Where is Microsoft now compared to where it was three years ago? Where is there a prime upgrade opportunity for partners? We'll reveal the answers, along with other snippets from the conference.
Three years ago, Microsoft launched its subscription-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) Office 365 platform, investing in the growing cloud market, along with other vendors. Google, one of Microsoft's top rivals, was one of them.
Microsoft's platform, which leverages Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync Online, seems to be growing among some partners in the channel. Sanford told partners that Office 365 deals have grown 120 percent year over year.
"When it comes to cloud we are absolutely all in," she said. "We've delivered the most innovation in cloud."
Sanford pointed to opportunity for partners by revealing that Microsoft has a global reach of more than one billion customers, but, more importantly, a reach of 20 million businesses each year with the company's cloud services.
Forty percent of SMB customers are still running running Office 2003 — a prime upgrade opportunity for channel partners. She added that Microsoft will continue to find opportunity, profitability, and ways expand the company's portfolio, including managed services.
More Conference News: Synnex making moves
Synnex CEO Kevin Murai addressed the conference and also spoke to MSPmentor. Here are some of the data points from Murai:
- Marshall Witt joined the company as its CFO last week.
- Synnex will continue to invest in Canada. Forty-four customers at Varnex were from Canada, and seven vendors at the conference serve the Canadian Market.
- Murai mentioned a real uncertainty in the market, due to recent political events, but there is still a lot of room for opportunity in cloud and mobility. To go along with that point, Synnex has made investments in cloud, IT management, specialization, and mobile.
- CloudSolv, a platform can run entire cloud practices, is moving along well, he said. The company just launched its most recent version of CloudSolv, and they are "quickly onboarding new service providers."
Lenovo sells servers, didn't you know?
Kevin Nelson, Executive Director, Enterprise Systems Group, Lenovo reminded audience members that Lenovo is in the server business, not just the PC business. He pointed out that Lenovo is Canada's largest PC manufacturer. He said Lenovo's channel community has grown 76 percent year-over-year, and if that success is going to continue, the company will need further support from the channel.